14/06/2005 - 22:00

It’s tee time at The Mediterranean

14/06/2005 - 22:00

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John Kelly’s recent purchase of the 18-hole golf course, The Cut, at Port Bouvard for $20 million could be the start of a new era for Mandurah, but not just on the greens and fairways.

John Kelly’s recent purchase of the 18-hole golf course, The Cut, at Port Bouvard for $20 million could be the start of a new era for Mandurah, but not just on the greens and fairways.

Gusto left an interview with The Cut general manager David Forsey with the distinct impression that food and fine dining is as essential a part of the experience as a day on the course.

Located on the south side of the Dawesville channel, 10 kilometres from Mandurah, a sparkling $6 million clubhouse forms the hub of hospitality operations at The Cut. The jewel in the crown is the recently opened 80-seat dining room called The Mediterranean, an establishment far removed from its Subiaco namesake, which was ‘eating-central’ for the state’s entrepreneurs in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

According Mr Forsey, the facility’s major challenge is to create a stand-alone fine diner – a fine dining destination in Mandurah that just happens to be in the middle of a golf course.

“We wanted to create a club with a golf course, not a golf course with a club,” Mr Forsey says.

To achieve this, dual gold plate winning chef Darryl Sewell has taken the reins aiming to exceed expectations with The Mediterranean.

Mr Sewell was hired from his impressive performance as Mr Kelly’s personal chef, working from the newly completed Sandalwood Golf Estate in Baldivis.

His experience in some of Western Australia’s most celebrated restaurants has earned him considerable praise. Starting his apprenticeship at Jessica’s at the Hyatt, Mr Sewell returned eight years later as head chef.

He has also led kitchens at Jo Jo’s and the Boatshed Café in South Perth.

His menu unashamedly focuses on Mediterranean-influenced dishes that work to exemplify local produce. His current menu highlights a confidence and skill with seafood – little wonder given he won his first gold plate for best seafood restaurant.

The ability to provide consistently flawless food is vital in the game to lure the high-flying, high-spending gambling and corporate elite. But The Mediterranean is aspiring to something a little more grandiose.

The problem, says Port Bouvard Limited managing director Ross Neumann, is that Mandurah’s restaurant scene is in need of a revolution, and in this regard The Mediterranean “offers a unique opportunity”.

“We saw a great niche in the market when we first set out on this project,” he says. “We have always aimed to be the best.”

Reacting to what he perceives as the “bulk food scene”, where Mandurah’s diners are confined to choices of inexpensive generously proportioned cafe-style food, Mr Neumann hopes The Mediterranean will offer locals, not just golfers, a menu of international standard.

With this there lies the hope of luring Mandurah’s rapidly growing population to the venue, not just its golfing fraternity. The area is now the fastest growing in Australia, and Mr Neumann believes there is an increasing mandate for quality alternatives on the food scene.

The restaurant will be led from the front by Messrs Forsey and Kelly, who both bring impressive experience in overseas golfing and hospitality facilities to Mandurah.

The Mediterranean is likely to take a starring role among The Cut’s proposed line-up of eateries. It joins the Sprig Bar, a relaxed all-day watering hole, and planned lounge, boardroom and conference room facilities.

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